It seems fairly obvious that people need to drink enough water, right? Well, it may be, but at the same time it’s no secret that many of us in America tend to fall short on some of the basics when it comes to healthy living – even if we don’t always realize it. Only a few years ago in fact, NPR posted a survey on diet that revealed that 75% of Americans label their own habits as healthy, despite strong evidence to the contrary.
We can hope that in time, awareness of common nutritional issues will spread and Americans will slowly but surely embrace better, healthier habits. In the meantime though, don’t forget the water remains one of the most effective pieces of advice people can listen to, no matter what other adjustments to their habits and routines may ultimately be recommended.
It’s not just a recommendation for people who consciously feel like they could stand to hydrate more, nor is it only a useful tip for jump-starting weight loss (a topic addressed in the piece “How To Do A Clear Liquid Fast To Jump Start Weight Loss”). Rather, it’s a vital part of any diet or health routine change, for a handful of simple reasons.
Help with Waste & Digestion
Water cannot cure all digestive issues, but regular hydration can still work wonders in this department. Water helps to clear the body of waste through urination, perspiration, and even the flushing of the kidneys. It also assists with active digestion in that a more hydrated body will break down food, separate waste, and take in nutrients more effectively. Some of this has to do with general health more than diet, but ultimately drinking more water will still help you to get the most out of what you eat (and flush out the stuff you don’t need).
Benefitting Body & Mind
This is a broad category, but one important to acknowledge alongside digestion, cardio health and the like. Staying properly hydrated is known to benefit the body and mind in assorted, miscellaneous ways worth paying attention to. It’s known to boost energy, and can improve cognitive performance; it can reduce headache and even migraine frequency; it can even improve the health (and look!) of skin. To the point about skin in fact, Healthline recently posted how water supports skin health via several mechanisms. In particular, it may help keep your skin hydrated, support immune function, regulate blood sugar levels, and promote natural detoxification.
Better Cardio Health
In many respects a proper diet is meant to maintain cardiovascular health above all else. And this goal is more easily met if ample hydration is incorporated into a routine. A dehydrated body will maintain higher concentrations of harmful sugars, which in turn can lead to poor cardiovascular health. Additionally, dehydration is often associated with higher blood pressure, which strains the cardiovascular system over time. By contrast, maintaining hydration and eating the Personal Trainer Food way will help eliminate harmful sugars.
More Fat Burned
We already covered a little bit about how better hydration can help to improve waste and digestion processes. On a similar note, it can also help to break down fats. Per an Every Day Health article medically reviewed by a dietitian with a master’s in nutrition from State University of New York College, more water intake can “speed up metabolism.” Essentially, this article posits that water increases lipolysis, or the breakdown of fats and lipids to release fatty acids. This does not mean, of course, that simply drinking more water pulverizes all unwanted fat in the body. But proper hydration does help to maintain metabolism in a way that contributes to a larger effort.
We face a lot of health and dietary issues, and over time these need to be combated with fairly comprehensive efforts. Adequate hydration, however, should be part of any effort to improve diet or develop a healthier lifestyle.
Feeling Full Longer
Did you know that mild dehydration can actually signal to your body that you need food? This is helpful to understand if you feel like your regular meals aren’t keeping you full, or you’re snacking too often. Next time you feel hungry, consider drinking a full glass of water rather than reaching for food. Wait for 10 or 20 minutes, and see if that pesky feeling of hunger ebbs away (you may be surprised at how often it will). It sounds almost silly, but it’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger, particularly given that both signals come from the same part of the brain. Trying hydration first can help you to stay full throughout the day.
When you transition away from the Standard American Diet toward a healthier way of eating, one thing you’ll be doing is cutting down on sugar and unhealthy carbs. This can lead to unwanted cravings, but here too water can be a helpful defense mechanism. Simply put, you don’t have to drink it plain! Adding some lemon, fruits, or electrolyte packs can make for a more satisfying beverage, and can help you to kick those cravings through hydration, rather than unhealthy snacking.
Drinking more water is easy advice to follow, and it will lead almost immediately to all of the benefits listed above. Pair this with the Personal Trainer Food program and you’ll be sure to be set up for weight loss success. Because water can actually help in this department too!
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About the Writer: Hailee Gavin is a health and fitness writer with a passion for nutrition. She believes that not enough people focus on the diet side of exercise, and hopes her articles provide clear guidance on all areas of diet and nutrition. In her free time she loves to run.
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